Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Cruel Prince By: Holly Black

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Y'all ready for my next audio review? Because this has been the book that pulled me- from my slump.
And good news, Book 2 THE WICKED KING comes out today! (1-8-19)



Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

(Original Review Written Jan 3, 2019)

Oh! My! Goodness!!!

So I have had this book on my to-read list for a while now. My Audible wish list too (since I tend to like these fantasies on audio more most of the time)
And finally had a decent amount of credits built up and this book was on the 2-for-1 credit sale. So of course.... I finally downloaded it haha.

And I'm so glad I did. I'm just sad I have 5 more days until the next one comes out now still haha.

I started this one while on my way home to Florida for New Years. And played it the entire drive there and halfway back. Along with some headphone time between haha. I just didn't want to stop listening. The story itself was so good. And the narrator was amazing. I loved her portrayal of Jude. And her voice was just perfect for the character and story.

Also. The story itself was so detailed and fast paced. I kept just waiting to hear what was going to happen. And this book left me constantly guessing and trying to predict everything that was going to happen.

And then there is Jude and Cardan. And the whole cast of characters to be honest, that made this story so good in my eye.
All of them added so much to it. Offering little tidbits here and there. Showing how their individual personalities played so well together and helped to shape who they became or reacted with one another.

But specifically I want to talk Cardan and Jude. Duh haha.

I know it's become common knowledge I don't usually take well to female characters. And there were definitely things about Jude I disliked through the story. But I really did enjoy her character. She was feisty and strong willed, and just a plain ol' bada** haha.
I loved that even when she was at her most scared she used that to fuel her determination on.And then would comeback twice as strong to any of her adversaries, all the while being quick and cunning.
But the thing I liked the most about her I think,was her determination. She got knocked down so many times. And even when she was scared to death, she just revised her plan, and kept going. She admitted to her fears, and then learned from them.
While also showing that she could sometimes be vulnerable too. That sometimes even the strongest person has regular character flaws, or can be vulnerable to matters of the heart and family.
And I appreciated that in a character.
She didn't always make the right choices either. Sometimes she let her head or heart rule her actions (And these were the moments that just made me want to smack her haha) But I enjoyed that flaw in her, smacking aside.
So often these main characters in these fantasy stories are portrayed as these smart and instant-heroes. They just know what to do and how to do it with no training or guidance. And then there is Jude, who, while has had some of both, is still just a teenage girl. Trying to figure her way in the world. And making decisions that may be good or bad, even at times reckless and hasty. And I really really liked that. That she had flaws, was flawed.

And then we have Cardan... *Sigh*
He's such a complex thing. One that took me a bit to unravel as I listened to this audio actually. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out plot points and charter motives. It's typically my superpower of sorts haha. But this boy had me taking my time trying to fit each piece with the next. Every time I had him pegged down (Or what I thought was having him pegged) Something would change, and I'd be reevaluating my original guess.
And I liked that. I like the plot points or characters that can stump me. It happens so little for me sometimes with how overly-analytically I look at books most of the time.
But I think the thing that constantly tripped me up with Cardan was I could never figure out his motives. He could be cruel and vengeful one moment, and then completely docile and almost kind in others. And I couldn't decide which was the true prince, and which was an act he was putting on.
I liked that he was multidimensional. It added a lotto his part in the story. And why the ending is so gasp worthy I think (Even though I did have that part figured out haha)
I just wish we would have gotten more of him through the story. There would be times the story centered around the drama with him. And then we would get these huge breaks where he would maybe just be there in passing. And I think that caused the reader to lose some of the feelings they needed to build for him. To really be able to sympathize. It probably wasn't until about halfway through that you really start to see the pieces fit, and begin to really understand him and his motives, or lack there of at times too. And I just wish he played a bigger part through more of the book.

And I want to just touch really quick on a couple of the other characters. Like Vivi, Taryn, Locke, even Madoc and Dain.
They add so much to this story. I honestly couldn't believe how well Holly was able to write such complex characters as them in such a small amount of time. It takes so much development to give us characters like them. And each of them played such big parts in this story. And I didn't feel like any of them was underdeveloped or rushed. There was so much behind the scenes things happening with all of them. And none of the plot was ever lost. And I just really want to say how much I appreciated that in the story. It made all the betrayals and shocks that much more powerful when they happened.

And one last thing.... Locke... GAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
Ok, I think I'm done haha

This book was just perfect. And I cant wait for book 2 to be out!

I give THE CRUEL PRINCE
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐